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Technology and gadgets seem to be taking away our leisure time instead of giving us more. Catching up on reading for pleasure seems to have taken a back seat. Here’s a novel way of getting some reading done. Reading Classics that you did not manage to do in college or since.

I recently read an article on LifeHacker where the blurb said ” No time to read? Email service Daily Lit sends you a bite-sized chunk of a novel to your inbox every day”. This site will email you a page or so of your favorite classic to you everyday, Monday to Friday. I signed up immediately 😀

It’s not as if I don’t have the time to read. I have a lot of time but can’t seem to get around to knocking off a few from my list that have been there for years. Ones that I keep there because I still want to read them. Instead I find that I read books that catch my eye in the shop or ones recommended to me recently or whose review I have liked. As you must’ve gathered from the header and the excerpt, Sons and Lovers is a book that I had wanted to read when I was in school (!) and I still have not got around to it.

This book will be sent to me in 218 installments. Each will take about 5 minutes to read. And if the experiment proves successful, I shall sign on for another. Today I got my first installment. Here is an excerpt from the book.
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Sons and Lovers (1 of 218)

By D. H. LAWRENCE

PART ONE

CHAPTER I

THE EARLY MARRIED LIFE OF THE MORELS

“THE BOTTOMS” succeeded to “Hell Row”. Hell Row was a block of thatched, bulging cottages that stood by the brookside on Greenhill Lane. There lived the colliers who worked in the little gin-pits two fields away. The brook ran under the alder trees, scarcely soiled by these small mines, whose coal was drawn to the surface by donkeys that plodded wearily in a circle round a gin. And all over the countryside were these same pits, some of which had been worked in the time of Charles II, the few colliers and the donkeys burrowing down like ants into the earth, making queer mounds and little black places among the corn-fields and the meadows. And the cottages of these coal-miners, in blocks and pairs here and there, together with odd farms and homes of the stockingers, straying over the parish, formed the village of Bestwood.
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Daily Lit has a selection of 93 classics, from the public domain, available for you to choose from. So whether like me you have the time or like most others life’s keeping you a bit too busy and you want to catch up on some reading here’s a new way to have a go at it.

You’ll find quite a range of reading material from Emma, Christmas Carol to Freud’s Dream Psychology all sent to you in small installments. And if on a particular day you have the time to read more or you just have to know what comes next just ask for more and you’ll get the next installment sent to you immediately. You wont have to wait! I’m sure you’ll find something you’d like to try out. If it works for you do let me know.

( this article appears on Buzzle as well as LMOG )

Update: July 19, 2006: Unfortunately, I assumed that this fix would work for this new beta but it does not 😦 . Works with the previous version – Bon Echo.
I’m one of those early adopters as far as alpha and beta versions of apps go. Silly thrills coz they usually land me into trouble. But I love trying out new stuff so there’s no stopping me.

When I installed Bon Echo (FireFox 2.01a) most of my old extensions stopped working. I missed the Performancing extension especially. I had been using it to make my blog posts. Surfed a lot and literally stumbled across the solution which worked. A few days ago I downloaded FireFox 2.0b and once again I was stuck without my extensions. Being scatty, forgetful and non techy, I couldnt recall the solution. Finally after much hunting I found this amongst my 2000 odd bookmark collection on blinklist. Decided I wasnt going to let that happen again and I’m putting it below for easier access in future.

I found Liew Cheon Fong’s solution listed on John’s blog and was ever so grateful. I’m putting a copy below for easy reference.

  1. At the location bar, enter: about:config. This will show you a list of Firefox internal preferences.
  2. Right-click on the list, select New > String
  3. Enter “app.extensions.version” (without quotes) for the preference name.
  4. Then, enter “1.0” (without quotes) as the value for app.extensions.version.
  5. Restart Firefox 1.5, then enable those disabled Firefox extensions.
  6. Restart Firefox 1.5 again to active the extensions. Done.


PB 15

I got the PB 15″ as a 40th birthday present last year. The birthday was in Feb. My sister bought it in March and by the time it reached me in India it was June. And now, after I’ve had it for less than a year, it goes bust 😦 Apparently the mother board has got fried. It just feels so unfair. I have an iMac Tangerine for 6+ years and have had zero problems with it and then i get the PB and dont even get to use it for a year. PBFixit is offering a replacement motherboard for USD 900. And once I add the charges for getting it fixed, I might as well get another laptop. 😦 What a waste of money!

UPDATE: July 8, 2006: Good news!  I have my PB back in action.  Yay! Took it to the Genius Bar at the new Manhattan Apple Store.  A wonderful “genius” by the name of Arion advised me of a flat service charge option for 350usd.  Sent it in and it was back with me in a weeks time.  And it was the motherboard that needed replacing.  Since I had almost given up on my PB and had gone to the store expecting to upgrade to another I was happy with the option provided to me.  I must add that I was very impressed with the friendliness of the folks at the Apple Store.  My father who accompanied me couldnt stop talking about them either.

The "How to Mouse Goofy" article on Life Hacker is the reason behind this post.  To leave a comment on their site – you need an invitation like gmail or from another person who'd been signed up etc. etc. etc.  And though i'm a regular LifeHacker feed subscriber and find their articles interesting, this was too much trouble.  Not for a simple thing like leaving a comment.  I'd rather do it here with no additional hoops or loops.

I've been a Computer and now an Internet addict for more years than I can remember.  The usage levels have kept going up as the content on the web has.  I found myself straining my wrist.  I must confess some of it was because of the games ( Wolfenstein 3D, Snood, Aperion – yes, I'm that old :D) that i was playing on the computer. 

About 4 years ago it got pretty bad and I decided to do something about it.  I had already tried the optical mouse and then the optical cum wireless mouse.  None of those really helped.  Then I got myself a Wacom tablet with the idea of learning to do digital art.   I ended up using it as a mouse replacement and it really helps.  I've used the option where the tablet maps the monitor screen so every spot you tap on the tablet is linked to a spot on the monitor.  No more rushing around with the mouse or your finger on a trackpad.  No more wrist strain.

I'm now looking forward to doing more with it than just mousing around. 

I was a TechCrunch only fan until quite by chance I stumbled across Emily Chang's eHub. It is currently Top of the Pops in websites as far as I'm concerned. For example, I read about Tabblo on eHub. For me, Emily Chang's site has now overtaken Michael Arrington's TechCrunch and it's because of the speed and range of coverage of all things Web 2.0. TechCrunch still remains my site of choice for detailed reviews.

Reflection

See my Tabblo>

I sign up for most anything that looks interesting to me. And there’s plenty these days that fits the bill! Tabblo is one such offering. It allows you to put up a bunch of photos and string them together with a story. I think that that’s pretty exciting.

While I signed up and linked my Flickr account on May 16, today is the first time I actually got around to trying it. I’ve made a Tabblo using one of their pre-defined formats and it was fairly straightforward. I definitely plan on using it some more. I hope to come back with a better story soon.

Need a button but like me you’re a newbie? Buttonator makes it as easy as 123. Choose your font, color and style and you have a button ready to download. Simple!

Here’s my effort

Techno.blah.gy

Found this link on Ajaxian today.

I’ve been busy since yesterday trying to find ways and means of accessing my gmail. It is my primary account and I download it via Apple Mail to my desktop. I use the browsers for checking my mail online. Currently both Safari 1.3.2 and Firefox 2.01a are crashing and mail has not downloaded any mail since yesterday. And it has been pretty erratic for a few days before that.

I can open my account in the browser but as i click on the link the browser crashes. The only thing that i can think of is using Google Calendar but i’m not sure why that should stop the mail from downloading to my desktop. I havent made any changes to Apple Mail and nor to Safari and until a week ago I was getting my mail regularly. I switched off old and new extensions in FireFox thinking that that might help but with no luck.
I’m now waiting to hear from gmail support. 😦

Update: May 24 – I heard from gmail support soon after and they told me that my problem was unique but i wasnt so sure of it until I had the same problem with a couple of links in wordpress.com. Clicking on options in the dashboard of my new blog was also crashing my browsers. When support on wordpress suggested that it may be related to my computer and browsers i had to agree.

I now view my gmail account in “html only” mode. and am hoping and praying that the problem will go away! The wordpress problem is not affecting me anymore as I opened a new blog from a wintel computer and can now access it from my powerbook. If there any suggestion re removing some plist file or some such do leave me a comment. thank you.

Update: Dec 19, 2006: I had forgotten that I had made this post. It was soooo long ago. A month ago I put up the same question in the Apple Support Forum along with the crash report. There are a lot of experts who frequent the forums and help newbies out.  Within a day a solution was found.

Apparently there is a problem with corrupt fonts and I removed the culprit from the Fonts folder and voila! my gmail is back in action and I’m thrilled. I’m back to emailing friends. previously i had to remember their ids!! Hoping this helps someone else with a similar problem.


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Along with wanting to try just about everything that's new on the web lately, I'm a bit absent minded, forget things like appoinments 😛

When online calendars became available, I went and checked them out and settled for 30boxes and was quite pleased with them. 3 weeks after which Google Calendar was out and i've moved to trying that out too because of the promised inter-connectivity with gmail. I am also hoping that somewhere in the near future all the things i'm dabbling in can all be linked and synchronised! On a shorter time frame, it would be nice to be able to differentiate between events and tasks.

While account synchronisation is what made me try Google Calendar, it seems that 30boxes will be providing it too soon.  And as for Google, I'm still waiting for them to add that bit of code to my gmail page.  
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Found this chat box today and took it for a test drive. First the web version where you add your website address to the Gabbly one ie. http://gabbly.com/www.yoursite.com and you're off – opens your web page up with a chat box allowing anyone visiting you to have a chat. pretty neat i thought.

one of the new things with Gabbly was that it lists all the current people online and it also allows you to position it on the side, below and stretch or shorten the length of the floating box. And I especially love the idea of the RSS feed.

having enjoyed the experience so far, i then decided to try the embedded version and i've put it here to chat with some of my friends.

For me it was definitely worth the effort and chatting with it has been better than a couple of others that i've tried.

Shall put in an update after a few days of use.


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